Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Country goings on....

I'm back from a very needed few days away in Oxfordshire & Wiltshire.  Have you missed me?

First stop - Chipping Norton via the Oxford Tube and Stagecoach.  Amazed that even the Stagecoach bus from Oxford City Centre had wi-fi.  Modern times indeed.  Using my Macbook on the bus was a novelty until I remembered I get travel sick if I even so much as read a magazine so that novelty was short-lived.  The bus to Chipping Norton wound its way round little country roads, past Woodstock and Blenheim Palace.  I felt I'd been that way once before and I think it was en route to Castle Morton festival back in the 90s, when we followed new age travellers' vehicles for miles, not knowing where we'd end up.

Chipping Norton is a pretty little town with lots of lovely places to eat, drink & shop.  If I wanted to live the rural life again, it would be top of my list.  I still don't totally understand why but there are strange little knitted things all round the town - flowers, insects, random bits of blanket - all tied on to benches, lamp-posts, etc.  Apparently they change according to the time of year - hearts around Valentines Day and I'm guessing the flowers because it's (meant to be) Summer.

I loved my couple of days in Oxfordshire.  My friends have the loveliest house and cats, and I'll be back again (if they invite me). 

Next stop - Swindon.  I don't really know what to say about Swindon.  As a young mod, it was an exciting place, full of charity shops stocked to the brim with bargains, northern soul nights, lots of mod-related clubs......now it's not...that's about it really.  I pass through and come out the other side.

Final stop - deepest darkest Wiltshire.  A short trip this time but long enough to give my 88 year old Gran some more laptop lessons.  As I mentioned on Facebook - Grans have things in their cupboard that no-one else has - Crunchy Peanut Butter, Mint Sauce...that sort of thing.  Grans are good. 

What you hear about it being a slower pace of life in the country is all true.  The bus that took me to the train station this morning gayly ambled its way round half of Wiltshire, picking up the most bizarre people on the way, working to no timetable whatsoever.  You never know when you might actually arrive at your location - you can only hope for the best.

Back in the smoke now....what's happened while I've been gone?

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